Since its beginnings, Chicago’s Dark Matter Coffee has eschewed many of the now commonplace elements found in the upscale coffee aesthetic. The company has consistently foregone white space, minimalism or Scandanavian-ness in favor of delightfully countercultural psychedelia, vivid colorscapes and unique, creative touches to each bag design and café interior detail, with all products and shops supported by the “Mothership Intergalactic Headquarters” roastery and lab.
This approach comes clearly to light in Meddle, Dark Matter’s recently opened fourth retail bar, which is their first venture into downtown Chicago, specifically the West Loop. The company originally launched in the Northside’s Ukranian Village/Humbolt Park neighborhood, and later opened its warped-eyeball-psych-themed “Osmium” coffee bar in Lakewood.
“After countless sessions with the beyond talented muralist, Jason Brammer, we coined our image for Meddle as ‘Psychedelegance,'” the company said in an announcement of the new shop’s opening. “With purple swirling floors, white subway tile with black grout, datura trumpets ripping out of the bricks, a coffee jungle coming to life, and purple neon so alive it brings flashbacks to the forefront of your brain, Meddle brings our counter culture spirit to the West Loop neighborhood.”
Of course, there’s also coffee, and Meddle promises to offer an immersive experience into Dark Matter’s deep coffee world, which includes various cold brew applications, a barrel-aging program, single-origin offerings and blend collaborations with musicians.
Meddle is currently open at 601 West Jackson Blvd. in Chicago’s West Loop.